There has been a huge growth of all new ad networks based around content personalization and recommendation on publishers websites large and small like:

  • CNN
  • Fast Company
  • Food Network
  • TMZ
  • Time

Several of the big winners powering these new native ad formats include companies like:

  • Outbrain
  • Taboola
  • Gravity
  • Disqus

These ads are typified by a catchy visual thumbnail and a catchy title begging you to click on the piece of ‘recommended content’.

It is the ‘buzzfeed-ification’ of content and the advent of every copywriting headline technique known to man on every single blog post on the entire internet.

For better or for worse it is here. Why? Because I click the ads and you click the ads. We can’t help ourselves. Continue Reading

My answer to this question was originally posted in the Clarity.fm Q & A area. I shared my answer and wanted to repost here. Please excuse grammar or typos accordingly :-)


Ecommerce Platforms Compared

Shopify is best use case for $0 to $1M ish, depending on product line, how many transactions that makes up, and if their are some custom things that are not possible on Shopify that realistically lead to huge gains that would cover more costs of a custom solution with something like Magento.

I recommend Shopify to everyone starting out.

That’s what we used at Diamond Candles up until about a $5M run rate. We were/are growing quickly so we hit a point where payoff of customizing checkout flow, add of social sign on, etc. that could not be done because of Shopify, would cover and surpass costs of a more custom option.

Best to think about this simplistic example.

Ecom Platform Market in 3 Buckets:

  1. Starting out: $0-$1M ish
  2. Wow looks like you have a business, congrats: $1M-$20 or 50ish
  3. You are/could be publicly traded on the stock market: $50M+

Take a look at usage #’s for market share size from independent third party analytics tools from Builtwith:


Just because something is found on the web more isn’t the full picture.

Ex: I could make a blogging platform and have a bunch of scripts and bots install it on millions of domains and I would have majority of the market for blogging platforms (ya that would take a while and isn’t a realistic scenario but you can get the point). Continue Reading

This is a guest post that originally appeared on Clarity.fm.


A little over two years ago on Valentines Day my co-founders and I sold our very first Diamond Candle. A minimum viable product launch to test our concept, we sold about a dozen in the first 24 hours and were through the roof, someone would pay us money for our eco friendly soy candles with a twist!

Each candle has a ring inside worth at least $10 but up to $100, $1,000, or even $5,000. Given the understanding that 98% of all home fragrance dollars are spent by females we had found a natural fit. A new element of excitement to a product category where $10 is spent on average in each home in the US monthly.

I wish someone would have told us these shortcuts that first day. Some shortcuts we stumbled into by accident, some we learned from the wisdom of those that had gone before us, and some we learned the hard way.

Continue Reading

picture taking woman

Amazon paved the way for purchase of any physical good without requiring the physical presence of the buyer.

Facebook created a network for anyone to communicate with anyone and to create a sense of identity in a digital way.

Apple gave the world photography for the masses and the platform to distribute it to other channels. Continue Reading